The water heater was a bit of a mystery to us because the previous owner, Al, had some repairs done to Alice that were a bit mystifying to us. There are propane lines that go under the belly pan of Alice feeding into the old fridge and the water heater.
You read that right. The propane lines were exposed to the ground. Not the safest place for a propane fuel line to be.
We were not sure how to tackle this problem so Tim did research. While he Googled how to demo a water heater, I sourced out the cost of replacing the water heater.
The main issue with removing the water heater was the fact that the propane hose came up through a whole drilled straight through the floor, past the belly pan to connect to the rest of the propane plumbing dangling under there.
Tim’s first thought was that the water heater could be detached from the outer faceplate, but that wasn’t possible. It’s all one piece, so nothing could be removed without removing the propane hose that was piercing it.
He first detached the hose from the underside plumbing, and from the water heater itself. The hose was only secured by about an inch of ageing putty, so the whole hose slid right out of its hole after some vigorous wiggling.
After the propane plumbing was removed, he removed the dozen or so screws holding the water heater’s faceplate to the side of Alice. It still wouldn’t budge after that, because there was still thick layers of old, decaying putty holding the faceplate in place, and after cutting through the putty with a box cutter the water heater came out in one piece.
Good news is that finding a replacement water heater will be easy, choosing which one to buy and whether or not to go tankless or traditional will be tough. Prices are about the same. The weight will be different.The traditional one weighs 70lbs while the tankless is obviously less weighing in at 32lbs. I don’t know if we would go with Atwood but it seems like across the board appliance wise, Atwood gets consistently good reviews.
When researching whether or not to go with tankless or the traditional I came across this article on FunTimes Guide RV section and this article on Mod My RV. I found both very informative. After that article a few similar to it, I am really leaning toward tankless or on-demand water heater.
What kind of water heater do you have in your RV, Airstream, Trailer, Bus, Tiny House? Did you keep your original water heater or did you replace it with something new? Was efficiency the highest priority when choosing your water heater? Or maybe the initial cost of the water heater tipped your decision one way or another? What brand did you choose or do you have? Would you make the same choice again? If not what would you do differently?
Please sound off below in the comments, we would love your input!